Scottish Government building

Scottish Government appoint top Civil Servant

John Paul Marks has been appointed Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government and will take up post on 5 January 2022.

Mr Marks joins the Scottish Government from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), where he has held the position of Director General for Work and Health Services since April 2019.

The appointment has been made by the UK Cabinet Secretary, Simon Case, with the agreement of the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon.

Mr Marks will succeed Leslie Evans, who is leaving the Civil Service as planned upon completion of her almost seven-year term.

As Chief Official Policy Adviser, the Permanent Secretary works closely with the First Minister across a full range of responsibilities, including major strategic and policy issues, and is Secretary to the Scottish Government’s Cabinet.

Commenting, First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon said:

“I am grateful to Leslie Evans for her leadership of the Civil Service for almost the past seven years. The expertise and insight that Leslie has applied in leading the organisation through the notable and significant challenges of our day, such as EU exit and the Covid-19 pandemic, has been admirable.

“I join with so many across the Scottish public sector and beyond in wishing Leslie every success for the chapter ahead.

“I am delighted to agree the appointment of John Paul Marks as Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government. John Paul brings a wealth of experience to this senior leadership role from his career in the Civil Service working across a range of policy and delivery priorities.

“I look forward to working with him over the years ahead as we recover from Covid-19 and deliver on the government’s ambition to build a fairer, greener Scotland.”

Mr Marks added:

“I am delighted to take up the role of Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government. I am grateful to the First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for this exciting opportunity.

“I would like to thank all the teams at the Department for Work and Pensions for their support and public service over the years.

“I look forward to joining the team in Scotland in the new year as we do our very best for Scotland in these important years ahead.”

As the principal accountable officer for the Scottish Government, the Permanent Secretary is personally responsible to the Scottish Parliament for the exercise of their responsibilities.

This includes the management of the Scottish Government’s budget and the economic, efficient and effective use of all related resources.

To ensure a smooth transition, Ms Evans’ final working day will be on 31 December 2021.

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